Defensive end Brian Sanford has sign a deal with the Cleveland Browns, the team confirmed on Thursday morning.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan first reported news of a two-year contract on Christmas Day.
Sanford, 26, might be most well known in Cleveland for being Seattle’s return in the eventually voided John Moffitt trade. The vocal Moffitt, who then retired from football, said the Browns failed his physical due to a salary dispute.
That trade was announced back on Aug. 19. It was voided days later. Sanford then was waived by the Browns on Aug. 31 and has spent the season with the Oakland Raiders, bouncing back and forth on their roster. He was released for good on Dec. 7.
The Browns had an available roster spot since placing Davone Bess on the reserve/non-football illness list prior to last week’s game. They likely needed additional defensive line help with both Phil Taylor and John Hughes not practicing on Tuesday.
Long-term, it’s perhaps a curious move to give Sanford two years. This past offseason, the team shored up its front seven in drafting Barkevious Mingo, plus signing Desmond Bryant and Paul Kruger. The unit has shined occasionally throughout the year, but has been inconsistent over the past couple months.
Cleveland (4-11) enters Sunday’s game as six-point underdogs in Pittsburgh (7-8). An upset would knock the Steelers out of playoff contention, although they’d still need help from several other teams to lock up the AFC’s final wild card spot.